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WJ lamps & lighting

Part 3: Upgrading
Updated Feb/13/2022

Safety info Exterior OEM headlamp assemblies Fog lights Interior

See also:    Part 1: Bulb specifications      Part 2: Bulb removal


WJ lighting

Vehicle lighting and safety information

Before replacing any automotive bulbs with types or styles other than what the manufacturer has specified or recommended, be sure to check local and Federal laws governing vehicle lighting. An excellent reference web site for this information can be found here:
Motor Vehicle Lighting Standards.

The Federal Code of Regulations governing vehicle lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment, FMVSS No. 108, is more than 100-pages long. If you'd like to read it, click here: FMVSS No. 108 Text.

Worthwhile reading:
An extensive and incredibly informative FAQ page on vehicle lighting can be found at this site: Lighting FAQ.


Exterior lighting

This section covers headlight and fog lights. Proper headlight alignment is important, as most glare is caused by lighting that is improperly aimed. The installation of certain high powered headlights may require that the harness be upgraded to handle the additional current flow. Several standard replacement bulbs are also available in "long-life" versions. These include the 9005XS, 9006XS, 3157 and 194's. They are usually identified with the addition of "LL" at the end of the bulb number and vary between 1.5 to 2x the life of standard bulbs.

Headlamp options

There can be several advantages and disadvantages in using different lighting systems. In most States, the low beam is not supposed to exceed 55 watts and high beams are not to exceed 60 watts. It's legal, though, to run higher wattage for "off road" use, but many drivers have used these higher-powered lights on-road. It's best to research thoroughly to obtain different opinions and additional information before you make your upgrade decision.

Jeep uses the "straight base" style headlamp bulbs, designated by the "XS" or "X/S" in the part number. The standard 9005/9006 right-angle base bulbs used by most manufacturers can fit into sockets made for the XS bulbs but may require slight modifications or different installation techniques. Always make sure that any bulbs or lights you change/modify on your vehicle is legal and safe.

There are 35 and 55 watt kits available, in a range of color temperatures. For a clean white look, choose 5000k or 6000k bulbs. Regular halogens are around 3000k in color temperature. The 55 watt bulbs are slightly brighter than the 35 watt bulbs, and the 35 watt bulbs are significantly brighter than regular halogens.

HID bulbs take almost 10 seconds to reach full brightness when turned on as they need time to warm up. The glass portion of the bulb should be kept completely clean and should not be touched during the installation as this could reduce the lifespan of the bulb.

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